Support and Questions

Any Questions?

We have complied the following questions and answers from our customers feedback and enquires about our services. If you have any other queries contact us on the free-phone number above.

  1. What is included in your charges?
  2. What happens once you receive my films?
  3. How can I tell how much cine footage I have?
  4. How secure will my films be?
  5. Can I deliver and collect in person?
  6. What is the best format to archive my footage?
  7. What about films with a soundtrack?
  8. Can I have background music added to my silent films?
  9. Are my films and videos returned to me after transfer?
  10. Can I have my films transferred in chronological order or in an order chosen by me?
  11. I'm still not sure about the order my films should be transferred in, and I'm not sure if I want everything on my reels transferred, are any further services available?
  12. What is the EDIT MANAGER service?
  13. What is the TIME MANAGER service?
  14. Can my cine films only be transferred to DVD?
  15. I would like my films or Videos transferred for a special occasion and want them delivered by a certain date. Is this possible?
  16. What picture quality should I expect to get from my films?
  17. How much film or video can be stored on a DVD and Mini DV digital tape?
  18. Once I get my films transferred to tape or disk I would like to edit them on my computer, what would you recommend?
  19. The number of different DVD disk types confuses me can you help?
  20. Do you have more information about sending and receiving films or videos by courier or post?

What is included in your charges?

 

  • ALL FILMS ARE CLEANED PRIOR TO TRANSFER
  • FILMS ARE REPAIRED IF REQUIRED PRIOR TO TRANSFER
  • ANY BLANK OR CLEAR SECTIONS OF FILM ARE REMOVED 
  • FILMS ARE WOUND CORRECTLY, READY FOR TRANSFER
  • NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE FOR FILMS WITH AN AUDIO TRACK
  • PRICES INCLUDE HARD DRIVES, DVDs or MINI DV TAPE STOCK 
  • DVD's SUPPLIED IN LIBRARY CASES AND PRINTED INSERTS
  • SECURE U.K DELIVERY BY POST OR COURIER
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What happens once you receive my films? 

If you are sending your films to us by courier or post we will confirm receipt of your films by telephone or email. We then examine your films and check the amount of footage with your order details. Sometimes a large reel is not always full and so we would adjust the cost to you accordingly and contact you with a revised quotation.

If your order has been sent in for a quotation, we will contact you by phone or email before the transfer commences so you know exactly how much it will cost. Accepted payments are PayPal, BACS or cheque. If you are collecting you can of course pay by cash.

We examine your films on a film rewind bench and also transfer them onto larger professional film spools. Any film splices that are weak or have come undone are remade and we remove any large sections of blank film. Films supplied backwards on the reel will be correctly wound and we splice new film leaders onto the front of your films if required.

This is all included in the cost no matter how much work is required to get the films in good condition, we do not charge per splice or per repair.
After transfer, your films are then wound back onto their original spools and returned to you.

An exception to this is with one particlular type of metal reel for 9.5mm film.
Known as the 'Baby Pathe', these small reels contained 30 to 50 feet of 9.5mm film which were secured at the centre hub. The film reel has only one opening with metal sides and the only way to remove the film for transfer is by dismantling the reel.

The Baby Pathe' reels are not returned unless requested. This of course does not apply to the larger standard size of 9.5mm film reels which are returned with the original films.

Film projection attracts dust and creates scratches that will show on the film as black spots and vertical black or coloured lines. Our liquid cleaning process eliminates most of the surface dust and also reduces the thickness of some black scratches by cleaning out the dirt within the scratch. The result is a clearer and cleaner film picture. If your films are particularly dusty we will run your films through the cleaning system two or three times.

Depending on what service you require, your films will be transferred directly via a digital connection to DVD, Mini DV or computer for editing.
In all of our services your films are electronically enhanced to improve the picture quality. You can see an example of this on our transfer choices page.

Once we have transferred your films they are placed back on their original reels with Silica gel sachets to keep moisture out. We recommend that when you receive your films, stack them vertically at room temperature.

Gold Archive DVDs are used for the initial DVD transfer. These contain a harder coating then standard disks on the recording side to protect from scratches and rough handling. The Gold layer also maximises the life of the disk by protecting the data from corrosion.

If you order extra copies, you have the choice of standard or Gold Archival DVD disks.

Even though you will have a high quality Gold layer archival DVD or digital tape, our advice is to always keep your films safe and NEVER throw them away.
For cine orders to portable hard drives or memory sticks we recommend that you transfer copies of your files onto your computers internal hard drive as a safety back up.

As a further security measure for orders that are sent back by post or courier, we produce and store a DVD copy of your films at our premises for six months. This also means that if you require another copy in the future, you do not need to send your films back to us.

Once the transfer is complete and your payment has cleared we will advise you by phone or email. If you are not collecting your films in person, they will be sent back to you via Special Delivery, Parcel Force' or courier.

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How can I tell how much cine footage I have?

On the side of most film reels there is a footage and/or metre gauge. The smallest 8mm reels are about 3 inches in diameter and contain 50ft of film, a 5-inch reel has 200ft and a 7-inch reel has 400ft; you may have a 10-inch diameter reel these contain up to 600ft. Your 16mm film may be on a 12-inch reel, which has up to 800ft or a 20-inch reel, which has up to 1200ft. Please bear in mind that sometimes a reel may not be completely full so please check this as it will reduce the cost of your order.

If you go to our 'Support & Questions' page and click on the 'Standard 8 & Super 8' tab you will find a guide to reel sizes.

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How secure will my films be?

Your films are held in our secure premises and remain here with us throughout the transfer process. We have always operated in this way and we NEVER sub-contract orders to other companies. In addition our premises are secured by a police approved alarm.

As a further safety measure, we keep a DVD copy of your cine transfer for 6 months free of charge following the date of dispatch. We do not automatically offer this service for Video transfer orders so please contact us for details if you would like this service as their is a small charge.
 

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Can I deliver and collect in person?

Yes of course, we are located within a mile of the M1 and A41  motorway and 2 miles to the M25 orbital motorway. 

If you are travelling by National rail, the nearest station to us is Bushey with a 20 minute fast service from London Euston and a 3 minute walk to us from Bushey station. Watford Junction (National Rail) is a short bus or taxi ride.

London Underground stations near us are at Stanmore (Jubilee line), Edgware (Northern line) and the closest to us is Watford (Metropolitan line)

Just give us a call to book an appointment before you leave home and let us know when you want to come over as we do have busy periods throughout the day.

We also have a local collection and delivery service for larger orders in the following areas.

Watford, Bushey, Stanmore, Edgware, Burnt Oak, Harrow, Kenton, Elstree, Borehamwood, Radlett, Potters Bar, South Mimms, Bricket Wood, Kings Langley, St Albans, Hatfield, Hemel Hempstead, Berkhampstead, Bovingdon, Chipperfield, Amersham, Chorleywood, Rickmansworth, Northwood, Hatch End, Eastcote, Ruislip.

 
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What is the best format to archive or edit my footage at home?

We are one of the few transfer companies in the UK that use Gold Archival disks to transfer your film onto. They are durable disks and are ideal for long term archiving of your cine films as each disc is manufactured using a unique dual reflective layer to maximize both compatibility and longevity. 

Gold Archive DVD's contain a harder coating then standard disks that protect discs from scratches, therefore extending the lifetime of your media.

If you do require additional DVD copies, you have the choice of standard DVD or Archival Gold DVD disks when you go to the calculator/ order form page. For video editing at home, we recommend two options, cine transfer to miniDV tape or onto portable Hard Drive/Memory sticks.

The miniDV tapes are small in size, durable and if you have computer editing software and a DV camcorder, you can play the tape into your computer and edit your films.

DVDs are not in an editable format although the DVD files can be copied or 'ripped' onto your PC and converted to become editable. This process requires additional software and a powerful PC to do it.

Another way to import and edit your films via computer is to have your films transferred onto a portable hard drive. As a guide, an hour of cine film would need approximately 15gb of storage. For small quantities of film we also use Memory sticks.

The files we produce are AVI video files for Windows PC's or Quicktime/MP4  files for Apple computers. Once you get your films and files, we recommend that you make backup copies of your files on a disk or drive at your earliest opportunity. 

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What about films with a soundtrack?

Some 8mm cine cameras included a microphone to record sound onto a magnetic stripe on the edge of Super 8mm film.Standard 8 films are almost always silent, although we have transferred some that do have sound.
There is no extra charge to transfer film with an audio track.

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Can I have background music added to my silent films?

Yes - for films without a soundtrack we can provide easy listening background music, which is ideal for silent films. We use a mixture of light classical and contemporary music that tends to complement silent cine films. We do have examples of cine film with background music added on our free showreel DVD's, if you would like a copy please call. If you decide to have music, you can choose this service on our price calculator by ticking the revelant box on the order form.

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 Are my films and Videos returned to me after transfer ?

All films and Videos that are sent to us are returned to you after transfer. Cine films are returned cleaned and ready for the next generation to look after. We also place them in plastic bags containing silica gel sachets to protect them from moisture. Kept at a level room temperature, away from extremes of heat and cold, your films should last a very long time.

Some transfer companies do offer to dispose of films and videos after transfer to save on packaging and postage costs. We do not offer this service because we believe that having the original quality of your original films or videos to transfer from is the best way of 'futureproofing' the way you store and play your media.

An example of this was when we started back in 1986 and the only way to view your films on TV was to have them transfered to analog VHS tape. When VHS was replaced by the superior recording quality of DVD, our customers could see the difference because we could use the original films to transfer from.  

We can and do transfer from VHS containing cine film transferred originally by us or sometimes by other companies but the picture will always be poor compared to using the original films. if you have your original films, we can produce a far crisper, sharper copy on DVD.

Whatever happens in the future, your original cine films should be kept safe as they should always be used when transferring to other media when new ways of watching them become available. Even though you will have a high quality DVD, digital tape or computer file copy, our advice is to always keep your films and video tapes.  NEVER throw them away as these are your original master recordings.

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Can I have my films transferred in chronological order or in an order chosen by me?

If you know the chronological running order and you have numbered your films for us to use as a reference, your films will be transferred in that sequence.  if you want a alternative running order, just number the films in your alternative running order.

If you haven't been able to watch the films for some time and the films are not marked, we do offer two services called TIME MANAGER and EDIT MANAGER, Details of which can be seen further down this page.

If you do not want the use EDIT or TIME MANAGER service, here is some advice that may help you get your films in order.  Your films would have been sent to the photographic lab for developing and returned to you in a packet. Look for a postal date stamp on the packet.

Sometimes there is a postal address on the packet. If you have multiple home addresses, you can arrange your films by address order as well.

If you have a mixture of standard and super 8mm films, the standard 8mm films are usually older and should appear first on the DVD. If you have a mixture of large and small reels, the larger reels are usually (but not always!) older than the smaller. 

Film packets and boxes do get mixed up over time so the above advice is not a guaranteed solution. By using TIME or EDIT MANAGER, your films will be guaranteed to be in the order you require as EDIT or TIME MANAGER lets you see your films on screen before a final DVD is produced..

If you do decide to leave the film running order to us, we would try to transfer your films in your preferred order but we cannot of course accept responsibility if some of your films appear out of sequence.

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I'm still not sure about the order my cine films should be transferred in, and I'm not sure if I want everything on my reels transferred, are any additional services available?

Yes, with our TIME MANAGER service you have the option of a preview DVD copy. Sometimes film reels may not be labelled with places and dates and it can be hard for you to decide the running order and chapter titles for your DVD. We provide our TIME MANAGER service so that you can put your film reels into the correct order on your final DVD.

When you play the preview DVD, each film will start with a numbered caption, 1,2,3,4 etc. If any film needs to appear in a different order, all you do is fill out the form sent with the DVD with the CORRECT numbered order. If you want to replace a numbered caption with a title for the film, just write it on the form. Adding titles is an additional service with TIME MANAGER, see the online calculator.for details.

You then send the completed forms to us and we will edit and supply you with the final edited DVD.

We also have a FULL edit service called EDIT MANAGER. This service includes rearranging the film order plus editing out scenes you do not want..
Our EDIT MANAGER service also includes adding titles on screen between each cine reel. 

 

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What is the cine transfer EDIT MANAGER service?

Sometimes film reel boxes are not labelled with places and dates and it can be hard for you to decide the running order and chapter titles for your DVD. You may also want some scenes removed completely and captions added.

The 'EDIT MANAGER' service will help. All you need to do is send your unmarked films to us and we will send you back a draft DVD containing all your reels and some paperwork to fill out your editing instructions* to us.

On the draft DVD a numbered caption will appear between each new reel showing where the reels change. We also add a VISUAL TIMER in the picture so you can easily tell us which sections you would like removed or even moved to a different part of the programme. This service also includes the addition of captions of your choice at the beginning of each reel on the final DVD.

If you would like to include music on your final DVD just tick the ‘add background music’ box on the calculator before sending your films.

If you do not want to remove sections of your films or add captions but would just like to change the running order see our TIME MANAGER SERVICE

As we edit electronically, your films are returned to you in original condition.

*Please note - film storage limitations.
We allow our customers up to two months to review the draft DVD, fill out the editing instructions and post the forms back to us.
We set a two month limit due to the amount of media storage capacity we have. As each order is completed we can then erase the digital copies.
If we receive your instructions after this time, there may be an additional fee incurred because of our storage limitations.

 

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What is the cine transfer TIME MANAGER service?

Sometimes film reel boxes are not be labelled with places and dates and it can be hard for you to decide the running order for your DVD.

The 'TIME MANAGER' service will help. All you need to do is send your unmarked films to us and we will send you back a draft DVD containing all your reels.

On the draft DVD a numbered caption will appear between each new reel showing where the reels change. A simple form comes with the DVD for you to tell us the new running order for your films. From your information we will edit the reels into your preferred order, remove the numbered captions and send you the final DVD.

If you would like to include music on your final DVD just tick the ‘add background music’ box on the calculator before sending your films.

If you want to rearrange the order of your films, PLUS remove any unwanted sections of your films and add captioned titles, see our EDIT MANAGER SERVICE.

*Please note - film storage limitations.
We allow our customers up to two months to review the draft DVD, fill out the editing instructions and post the forms back to us.
We set a two month limit due to the amount of media storage capacity we have. As each order is completed we can then erase the digital copies.
If we receive your instructions after this time, there may be an additional fee incured because of our storage limitations.

 

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Can you transfer cine film to broadcast formats for television?

If you are a production company we can transfer to most broadcast formats such as Full HD, DigiBeta, Betacam SP or computer file formats.

Our services also include HD video filming and editing. More information can be found at www.bluprint.co.uk or call John on 01923 239298.

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I would like my films or Videos transferred for a special occasion and want them delivered by a certain date. Is this possible?

We usually turn around orders within 7 to 10 working days but between October and February our delivery times are extended. If you would like us to confirm delivery to you by a particular date just let us know before you send in your order. We will always 'pull out all the stops' whenever possible and your DVD library case can be printed with a special message as part of the service. Don't worry If your film or Video transfer is a surprise gift, we never put our details on the outside of parcels, just your name and return address. 

What picture quality should I expect to get from my films?

This depends on a number of factors. The first is during film preparation; our process starts with cleaning both sides of the film surface to remove as much dust, hair and dirt as we can, which build up over years of storage and projection. Film cleaning will provide a clearer and cleaner image after removing distracting hair or dirt spots on your film.

If films are too dark, light or have a colour bias then we can improve on the original quality to some degree during the transfer process. Next is the transfer equipment, we use one of the best optical transfer processes available ensuring a flicker free picture. The final factor is the resolution of the disk, tape or computer file format that your films are going to be transferred to.

Regarding disk stability, we only use gold layer archival DVD's*, manufactured with a gold reflective layer and an estimated lifespan of over 100 years. These discs are the most reliable method of storing your precious cine films on disk.

*Gold Archival disks are used on initial cine transfers, e.g orders requiring just one DVD. For additional DVD copies from the same order, you have the choice of Gold Archival or premium quality DVD's on the calculator order form.

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How much film or video can be stored on a standard DVD or Mini DV digital tape?

It is possible to have six hours on a single sided DVD but to keep the quality as good as the original transfer we recommend no more than approximately one hour and 20 minutes per disk for cine transfers and up to three hours for VHS quality transfers. All cine transfers include one DVD menu containing up to four menu buttons. More buttons can be added if required. Up to 60 minutes of cine film can be stored on a Mini DV digital tape and approximately 18 minutes of an AVI or Quicktime computer file can be stored on a single sided DVD. For larger transfers we provide portable hard drives and Memory stick for smaller orders that you can purchase from us. 

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Once I get my films transferred to tape or disk I would like to edit them on my computer, what would you recommend?

This depends on your computer platform, PC or Mac, your editing software and what file formats you can import into your computer..

There are various editing software packages that will allow you to copy your DVD (VOB) files off of the disk onto your computer for editing.

Customers who own Mini DV camcorders ask for transfers to Mini DV tape (60 minutes of storage per tape) as this allows them to play the tapes from their camcorders while connected into their computer via 'firewire' or 'DV' cable.

Another option we offer that provides higher storage capacity is to transfer to memory sticks or portable hard drives. You can purchase a portable hard drive from us and we will transfer your films onto the drive as AVI or QuickTime files. For smaller amounts of film we will use flash memory drives that just plug into your computers USB connection. We then return your original films back with the hard drive or flash memory drive containing the files ready to import onto your home computer. You can choose these services on our price calculator or order form.

If you prefer to supply your own Hard Drive, please contact us for more information about the type of Drive you have before sending your order.

For more technical information we would recommend that you contact your computer or editing software supplier to find out the best option for you.
If you think that we can help in any way please give us a call.

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The number of different DVD disk types confuses me can you help?

The recordable DVD disks that we produce are called DVD-R or DVD+R recordable once only disks. They will play in the U.K and other countries that use the same TV system as the UK and are region free. If you are not sure which disk you need please let us know when you place your order and we will send you some free test disks to try before we transfer your films. If you have the right equipment you will be able to copy the DVD's we produce as we do not put anti piracy software on your disks. If you need a DVD to play outside of the UK please contact us.

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Do you have more information about sending and receiving films or Videos by courier or post?

If you are posting your films or Videos, please make sure you protect them them with bubble wrap or similar packaging materials.
Another suggestion is to mark the parcel as fragile and write in small letters your full address including postcode on the reverse of your parcel.
You can also ask for a free 'proof of posting' slip at the Post Office when sending your parcel.

We also recommend the 'Track & Trace'  'Special Delivery' or 'Recorded' service from Royal Mail. For parcels over 2Kg we use 'Parcel Force'.
You can choose to send your own courier or arrange to deliver and collect in person. If you are delivering your films in person, just give us a call before leaving to book a time. 

As a further safety measure we keep a DVD copy of your cine transfer for 6 months free of charge following the date of dispatch. We do not automatically offer this service for Video to DVD transfer orders so please contact us for details as their is a small charge.

 

 

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